Heavy lifting

by Nathan Rutz


Unleaded soil

I bought 10 cubic yards of “top soil” from Three-Z supply which is allegedly “60% topsoil, 20% organic compost or humus, 20% coarse sand.  Shredded, pulverized and screened through a 3/4 inch screen.

What I got was full of heavy clay, definitely not screened through a 3/4 inch screen, definitely not 20% compost. It had a fair amount of trash in it. I’ve just called and it seems like they may give me some free leaf humus, which would be nice.

This is what it looked like just before it was delivered, after I moved the pile of woodchips:

wood chips before dump

It was delivered about 8:45am on Monday 4/7. I will say it was delivered very quickly and the dump truck driver was good.

dump truck

dump pile

In this picture it looks nice and black but don’t let it fool you. You can see a giant clump of clay in the front there.

Since the pile blocked Carmita’s entrance, I shoveled and wheel barrowed dirt for about 3 hours that morning and partially covered the back hugul-bed.



Fedco Trees won’t tell you exactly when your plants will be shipped. I called them and they said they would be shipped the first week of April. This made me nervous to get soil early, which is why I got it delivered on 4/7. Sam and I had wonderful vacation long weekend in Asheville NC, 4/11-4/15. Unfortunately I heard from UPS that my plants were on the way on Friday 4/11.

They attempted to deliver them on Tuesday 4/15, and were actually delivered 4/16.

Open box of plants

They were nicely hidden in plastic and damp newspaper.

With the plants having arrived I scrambled to get folks over to help me move dirt and get some plants in the ground!


Garden Party

Here’s the pile before we started:

partial pile


Sam got a good workout shoveling and wheel-barrowing all evening

Sam shovelin 2

Paul broke up clods with a pickaxe and Fokin hoe

paul dual wield 2

Molly shoveled and wheel-barrowed

Molly wheel barrow

Carla went nuts with the pickaxe

Carla pickaxe

Brian and Aaron came a little later and my hands were too filthy to take pictures.

We worked from about 4pm until is was very dark and then had pizza and homebrew


We couldn’t really see what we accomplished in the darkness, but this morning I went out and it’s great!

covered huguls

Hopefully my smallish compost pile will provide enough goodness for the plants for now… Hopefully Three-Z will be nice and help me out with a load of compost since the dirt I bought was definitely not 20% organic material.